EXCLUSIVE – Wednesday 13 Interview
It’s been a long, hard slog but workaholic shock rocker Wednesday 13 is finally bringing his Skeletons tour to an end before embarking on yet another US jaunt with side project Bourbon Crow.
rushonrock caught up with the man who makes a living out of writing about zombies and ghouls before he switches his attention to country rock and a summer off.
We’ll all miss Wednesday while he’s away but this bloke won’t be gone for long. And when he’s back expect this site to be one of his first ports of call…
rushonrock: How’s the new Bloodwork EP been received?
Wednesday13: It’s been out in America and available on iTunes for some time so a lot of the kids who are really big fans will have burnt it a long time ago. But the people who are hearing it for the first time have been really cool and I’m glad I’ve been able to oput out all of this stuff in the last 12 months. There’s been the EP, the live CD and DVD and the Skeletons album and everyone seems to love it. The EP has the songs which were recorded at the same time as Skeletons and I just split it up.
rushonrock: It’s clearly been a very creative period of your career but are there still plenty of Wednesday tunes left in the tank?
W13: Oh yeah. I’ve already don the record with Bourbon Crow and that tour starts May 8. I’m going to take the band out in America and see how it goes and after that I’m just taking the summer off to write some new stuff. I’m working on another project right now other than the country thing so I’m doing some stuff for that too. I’m excited about everything I’ve got going on right now and I just like to write music. I’m just taking a break from the Wednesday stuff for a while.
rushonrock: Is it important that you have those clean breaks from the Wednesday music every so often?
W13: Absolutely. I’ve been touring with this project since 2004 non-stop, especially the last two years. It’s been nine months a year on the road. I’m not complaining but it feels like I’ve kinda painted myself into a corner with Wednesday where everyone wants to hear songs about zombies and graveyards over and over again. With the country project Bourbon Crow and the other thing I’m working on it gives me an outlet where I can do the things I want and keep Wednesday the way it is and the way that people like it.
rushonrock: So you’re saying you couldn’t really record a countrified Wednesday 13 record then?
W13: That’s what I’m saying. A lot of bands over the years have put out a record which they claim is more mature and a different style and it’s like they’ve changed the formula at the expense of their fans. It’s like if you changed the formula of Coca Cola people would say ‘take it back, it sucks’. I kinda did that with the Skeletons record – a lot of fans loved it but a lot of fans didn’t like it because I did some things a bit different. I didn’t stick to writing about zombies and graveyards – I wrote a couple of songs which were more personal and certain people didn’t like it at all. So I’ve kinds realised that I know what I do well with Wednesday so I’m going to stick to that formula and if I feel the need to write anything else it will be for another project.
rushonrock: After four years fronting Wednesday are you starting to feel just a little fatigued?
W13: Oh yeah! This latest tour has been brutal. It’s been too much. We started rehearsals February 1 and did four weeks in America. From there we went straight to Japan, did 10 dates there, and then we’ve come onto the UK. There were something like 19 shows without a day off and it does take its toll. We’re not the kinda band who, when we’re done with our show, we go to bed. We stay up until 5am or 6am in the morning drinking and hanging out and it beats you up pretty bad. I’ve just been going a little too hard lately and that’s why I took the decision to take the summer off, regroup and recharge my brain. But yeah, it definitely gets to you. It’s been getting to me.
rushonrock: When did you last have the summer off?
W13: I haven’t. Not since I’ve been touring. I think 2003 was the last time I had any sort of break. I’m gonna be writing but that’s like a holiday for me. I’m constantly writing and that’s why this last tour’s been so tough for me. I write everything on my acoustic guitar and I didn’t bring it with me this time. When I’m home I’m always writing. I have a notebook and a pen beside my bed and if I wake up in the night and think of a cool lyric I’ll put it down. Writing is never work or a job for me. Being creative is relaxing. It’s fun.
rushonrock: So what does the summer hold for a burned out shock rocker?
W13: All kinds of things. It’s been my resolution this year to make time for a whole load of things. Things I’ve been too lazy to do before. Like go out and be entertained. I was in California recently and I was out there before for a month and didn’t do anything. So I decided I’d go to Universal Studios and hit the amusement parks and had the best time ever. So I’m going to do more of that and just enjoy my time. I just want to relax and enjoy what I’ve done and what I’ve got out of this band.
rushonrock: Do you want to spend any of your down time watching bands or do you steer clear of live music altogether?
W13: I love watching bands and I’ve made a lot of good friends in the music business over the years. But there’s actually not a lot of bands who would really drag me out of bed these days! I’ve just found out that a good friend of mine has got a job working for Kiss this summer and that’s my favourite band in the world. So I’ve got my tickets for that one already. I go and see bands like that – Kiss and Alice Cooper and a couple of newer bands that I like. I’m a big fan of Danko Jones. Backyard Babies are another great band. I just like rock. You know I get pigeon-holed as this Goth-type thing but I think I’ve always played rock and roll music. The black hair and the make-up mean people always think I’m a Goth. It’s not that. I have my hair long and black because I love Alice Cooper. I wear make-up because I love Kiss. I’d never call them Goth but in today’s climate some people would I suppose. But as far as hanging out in nightclubs and watching local bands I don’t really do that.
rushonrock: Will there be time to catch up with friends and family?
W13: Oh yeah. I still live in the same neighbourhood so I’ll be round at my mom’s on Saturday afternoon and she’ll make me dinner which will be great. I always have time for that kind of thing.
rushonrock: Now that the Skeletons tour is coming to a close what have been the highlights?
W13: there’s been a lot of cool stuff. For me I guess Halloween 2008 at The Astoria with Hanoi Rocks was great. That was my show. That was the favourite show I’ve ever played. The place was packed and I was there with one of my favourite bands. It was a cool night and everybody was dressed up in costume.
I’m a journalist specialising in sport and rock music. Can’t play either so I write about them instead.